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How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Your Guide From Start to Finish

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Today, we're swamped with information, like reading 174 newspapers every day. It comes from all over—news, social media, science, and more. This flood might make you feel overwhelmed and lost in a sea of facts and opinions. But being able to make sense of it all is crucial.

This guide isn't just about handling all that info; it's about using it to write awesome essays. We'll show you step by step how to pick a topic and organize your essay. Let's dive in and learn how to turn scattered facts into powerful essays that really stand out.

What Is a Synthesis Essay

The synthesis essay is a powerful tool in writing. It's not just about gathering facts but about connecting them to make a clear and strong argument.

Writing a synthesis essay allows you to dive deep into ideas. You have to find similarities between different sources—like articles, studies, or arguments—and use them to tell a convincing story.

In today's world, where we're bombarded with information, synthesis essays are more important than ever. They let us explore how different ideas fit together and help us express our thoughts on complex topics. Whether you're writing about literature, science, history, or current events, a synthesis essay shows off your ability to analyze and understand a topic from all angles. And if you're struggling with this task, just ask us to ' write paper for me ,' and we'll handle your assignment for you.

Explanatory vs. Argumentative Synthesis Essays

In synthesis writing, there are two main types: explanatory and argumentative. Understanding these categories is key because they shape how you approach your essay.

Explanatory:

An explanatory synthesis essay does just what it says—it explains. These essays aim to give a balanced view of a topic by gathering information from different sources and presenting it clearly. They don't try to persuade; instead, they focus on providing information and making things easier to understand. They're like comprehensive summaries, breaking down complex ideas for a broader audience. These essays rely heavily on facts and expert opinions, avoiding personal bias.

Argumentative:

On the flip side, argumentative synthesis essays are all about persuasion. Their main goal is to take a stance on an issue and convince the reader. They gather information from various sources not only to present different views but also to build a strong argument. Argumentative essays aim to sway the reader's opinion by using gathered information as evidence. These essays express opinions and use rhetorical strategies to persuade.

And if you're keen on knowing how to write an informative essay , we've got you covered on that, too!

Synthesis Essay Structure

To craft a strong synthesis essay, you need a solid foundation. Here's a structured approach to help you nail it:

Introductory Paragraph:

  • To kick things off, grab your reader's attention with a catchy hook or interesting fact. Give a bit of background info about your topic and the sources you'll be using, as it can help readers understand your topic better! Then, lay out your main argument in a clear thesis statement.

Body Paragraphs:

  • Each paragraph should focus on a different aspect of your topic or source. Start with a topic sentence that links back to your thesis. Introduce the source you're discussing and highlight its main points. Also, using quotes, paraphrases, or summaries from your sources can make your arguments stronger.

Synthesis :

  • This part is where your essay comes together. Look for common themes or differences among your sources. Use your analysis to build a strong argument. Don't forget to address any opposing viewpoints if they're relevant!

Conclusion :

  • Wrap things up by restating your thesis and summarizing your main points. Explain why your argument is important and what it means in the bigger picture. End with a thought-provoking statement to leave a lasting impression.

References :

  • Finally, don't forget to list all your sources properly using the right citation style, like MLA or APA. Do you know that different citation styles have different rules? So, make sure you follow the right one!

Choosing a Synthesis Essay Topic

Picking essay topics is just the beginning. To write a great synthesis essay, you need to carefully evaluate and connect different sources to build a strong argument or viewpoint. Here's a step-by-step infographic guide to help you choose the right synthesis essay topics wisely.

choosing a synthesis essay topic

How to Write a Synthesis Essay with Easy Steps

Writing a synthesis essay is similar to a compare and contrast essay . It requires a methodical approach to blend information from different sources into a strong and persuasive argument. Here are some crucial steps and tips to help you along the way.

  • Clarify Your Purpose: First, decide if you're writing an explanatory or argumentative synthesis essay. This choice will set the tone and direction for your essay.
  • Source Selection and Analysis: Choose credible and relevant sources for your topic, balancing different types like articles, books, and websites. Analyze each source carefully, noting the main ideas and evidence presented.
  • Formulate a Strong Thesis Statement: Create a clear and concise thesis statement that guides your essay. It should express your main argument or perspective.
  • Structure Your Essay: Organize your essay with a clear synthesis essay outline, including an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Each body paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of your topic.
  • Employ Effective Transition Sentences: Use transition sentences to connect your ideas and paragraphs smoothly, ensuring a cohesive flow in your essay.
  • Synthesize Information: Blend information from your sources within your paragraphs. Discuss how each source contributes to your thesis and highlight common themes or differences.
  • Avoid Simple Summarization: Don't just summarize your sources—analyze them critically and use them to build your argument.
  • Address Counterarguments (if applicable): Acknowledge opposing viewpoints and counter them with well-supported arguments, showing a deep understanding of the topic.
  • Craft a Resolute Conclusion: Summarize your main points and restate your thesis in the conclusion. Emphasize the importance of your argument or insights, and end with a thought-provoking statement or call to action. ‍
  • Revise and Proofread: Check your essay for clarity, coherence, and grammar mistakes. Ensure your citations are correct and follow the chosen citation style, like MLA or APA.

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Synthesis Essay Format

Choosing the right citation style can enhance the credibility and professionalism of your paper. The format of your synthesis paper depends on the specific guidelines given by your instructor. They usually fall into one of the popular styles: MLA, APA, or Chicago, each used in different academic fields.

synthesis essay format

1. MLA (Modern Language Association):

  • Uses in-text citations with the author's last name and page number.
  • Includes a 'Works Cited' page at the end listing all sources.
  • Focuses on the author and publication date.
  • Often used in humanities essays, research papers, and literary analyses.

2. APA (American Psychological Association):

  • Uses in-text citations with the author's last name and publication date in parentheses.
  • Includes a 'References' page listing all sources alphabetically.
  • Emphasizes the publication date and scientific precision.
  • Commonly used in research papers, scholarly articles, and scientific studies.

3. Chicago Style:

  • Offers two documentation styles: Notes-Bibliography and Author-Date.
  • Notes-Bibliography uses footnotes or endnotes for citations, while Author-Date uses in-text citations with a reference list.
  • Suitable for various academic writing, including research papers and historical studies.
  • Provides flexibility in formatting and citation methods, making it adaptable to different disciplines.

Synthesis Essay Example

Here are two examples of synthesis essays that demonstrate how to apply the synthesis process in real life. They explore interesting topics and offer practical guidance for mastering the art of writing this type of paper.

Synthesis Essay Tips

Crafting a strong synthesis essay requires careful planning and effective techniques. Here are five essential tips to help you write your best paper:

  • Diverse Source Selection : Choose a range of reliable sources that offer different viewpoints on your topic. Make sure they're recent and relevant to your subject.
  • Seamless Source Integration : Avoid just summarizing your sources. Instead, blend them into your essay by analyzing and comparing their ideas. Show how they connect to build your argument.
  • Balanced Tone : Maintain an impartial tone in your writing, even if you have personal opinions. Synthesis essays require objectivity, so they present different viewpoints without bias.
  • Focus on Synthesis : Remember, synthesis essays are about linking ideas, not just summarizing sources. Explore how your sources relate to each other to create a cohesive argument.
  • Address Counterarguments : Like in persuasive essays topics , acknowledge opposing viewpoints and explain why your perspective is stronger. This demonstrates your understanding of the topic and adds depth to your argument.

Concluding Thoughts

When writing a synthesis essay, it's essential to pick trustworthy sources, blend them effectively to build your argument and stay objective. Use smooth transitions, address counterarguments thoughtfully, and focus on analyzing rather than just summarizing. By following these steps, you'll create essays that inform, persuade, and engage your readers!

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How Should You Conclude a Synthesis Essay?

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Writing a Perfect Synthesis Essay: Definition & Examples

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Published on: Mar 1, 2023

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

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Do you have a ton of research to synthesize but don't know how? Or maybe you're not sure what a synthesis essay is and how to write a good synthesis essay. 

We know writing a synthesis essay is not an easy task to do; it’s challenging for most of us. But it can be perfectly done with the right guidance and preparation. 

In this blog, we'll walk you through all the necessary information to craft a perfect synthesis essay. So you can get done with your assignments confidently! 

Let’s get started.

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What is a Synthesis Essay?

Synthesis essay definition states:

It is a piece of writing that takes a unique perspective on a central idea, topic, or theme. Then backs it up with evidence from multiple sources.

A synthesis essay is an important part of academic writing. The main purpose of this essay is to show your ability to prove an argument.

To make sense of these arguments, you need to use different credible sources. It demonstrates your basic understanding of the main subject. This type of essay help to enhance your critical, analytical, and research skills.

A synthesis essay is made up of ideas and conclusions based on the information reviewed. Also, this essay asks you to summarize the topic and add your own thoughts about it in relation to what you have read.

Furthermore, the synthesis essays can be similar to analytical essays , argumentative essays , or compare and contrast essays .

Synthesis Essay Types

There are three types of a synthesis essay:

1. Argument Synthesis Essay

This essay's purpose is to debate or argue on a certain topic or issue. It justifies its claims by providing evidence in the body of the essay.

In contrast to the explanatory essay, you will perform the same thing as if you were writing a typical argumentative paper. First, state your argument, make supporting statements, and back up each claim with reliable facts.

2. Review Essay

A review essay is frequently written as a preparatory essay to an argument synthesis. Review essays are commonly used in social science and medicine classes.

It is a discussion of what has already been published on a topic, with a critical examination of the sources mentioned.

An unwritten thesis statement is added to it, which is not final and indicates that further study is needed in that area.

3. Explanatory Synthesis Essay

In this essay, the writer helps the reader to grasp deeper knowledge about the topic. Rather than arguing or debating on some points, the goal of this essay is to explain a certain topic.

Like any other essay, it needs backing up with supporting claims and credible sources.

How to Start a Synthesis Essay?

The following are some helpful techniques for writing an essay. These will help you start the process and avoid common errors that plague many writers.

1. Choosing a Synthesis Essay Topic 

A prompt for a synthesis paper must be arguable. Based on your project, you may be required to select primary content. Select a book that may include contrasting perspectives. Here are some important tips for choosing a topic for a synthesis essay.

  • Look through the themes and ideas. Read from sources and investigate specific topics thoroughly to see if any of them catch your interest.
  • Select a topic and collect relevant and valuable references for your synthesis paper.
  • Outline your synthesis essay using concepts or ideas from the sources. This should make writing a lot simpler and save you a lot of time.

It is necessary to find an arguable topic to make your synthesis essay effective. Another reason is that these topics have been discussed in public for decades. 

Examples of good synthesis essay topics are;

  • The process of hiring in the age of social media
  • Social networks promote suicide
  • Should higher education be free?
  • Is it necessary to remove marks in education 
  • The importance of getting a good education
  • 3D printers are not used efficiently nowadays.
  • Is technology really helping people?
  • Why has technology made surgery safe and effective?
  • What is the cause of widespread obesity in teens?
  • What is the role of gender today?

2. Analyze Your Topic

Here's how you can fully understand your synthesis essay topic.

  • Grasp the Idea of a Synthesis Essay

A synthesis essay's purpose is to establish meaningful connections between sections of a work. When conducting research on a topic, you have to look for connections to build a strong viewpoint on the subject. The ultimate goal of the essay is to present and prove a claim about a topic .

  • Select a Topic Appropriate for a Synthesis Essay

The subject and topic must be extensive enough to include multiple relevant sources. If you have a free hand in deciding what to write about, some preparatory research may assist you in researching and choosing the right topic. 

  •  Select and Study Your Sources Carefully

Research and find relevant information and sources. Generally, choose at least three references for your essay. It's a good idea to learn one or two additional sources for better understanding but no matter what it is, make sure that you study it properly.

Remember that it is better to read three sources properly than five sources poorly.

Compile each source by writing notes in the margins. This allows you to keep track of your thoughts, fresh ideas, and so on. 

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  • Reread the Source Material 

Reread your source material for elements that will help to support your argument. 

Examine your sources for important statements, figures, thoughts, and facts that support your thesis. Make a note of them when you come across them. This will be very useful throughout your writing process. 

3. Develop a Thesis Statement 

Your thesis statement will be the central idea of your essay. It should cover the topic and express your viewpoint on it. After reading the sources and conducting your research, form an opinion on your topic. 

It should be stated as a complete sentence. Based on the essay, your thesis statement could be the first sentence of the essay or the last sentence of the first paragraph.

  • Structure Your Thesis Statement Creatively 

To present your thesis, use a more creative structure. You can use a more elaborate structure than the one outlined above. You can develop your essay using the following approaches:

Straw man: In this approach, you will present the counter-arguments first. Then demonstrate their weaknesses and flaws. 

Such an approach demonstrates your awareness of the opposition as well as your readiness to respond to it. You present the counter-argument immediately following your thesis statement, followed by evidence to refute it. And conclude with a positive argument that supports your thesis.

Concession: In structure, concessions in essays are similar to the straw man. But this approach acknowledges the validity of the counter-argument while demonstrating that your argument is stronger. This structure is suitable for presenting papers to readers who hold opposing views. 

Illustration/ Example: It could be a thorough narrative, synopsis, or quotation from your source material that provides support for your position. However, you should not make your paper a collection of examples at the expense of supporting your thesis statement.

Comparison and Contrast: In this approach, similarities and differences between two subjects or sources demonstrate both aspects. It requires a thorough reading of your source material to identify both subtle and major points of comparison.

This type of essay can present its arguments source by source or by points of similarity or difference.

4. Create an Outline for Your Essay

An essay outline is a method for outlining the framework of your essay. Here’s what you have to do. Outlining can help you structure and plan your synthesis paper. 

The standard outline of a synthesis essay is divided into three sections:

Need detailed guidance on how to write a synthesis essay? Check out this video?

How to Write a Synthesis Essay?

For writing a great essay, you have to do extensive research on your subject. This essay connects sections of multiple works and develops a strong viewpoint on a subject.

There are some major steps of the process:

1. Start Writing Your Essay 

After getting done with the preparation part, start to write your synthesis essay. 

2. Write Your First Draft Using Your Outline as a Guide

But be prepared to change your strategy if you discover fresh ideas and information. And make sure it supports your thesis and the source material. 

Your essay should have an introduction paragraph with your thesis statement at the end of it. A body with evidence that supports your main topic and thesis statement. Lastly, a conclusion that summarizes your point of view.

3. Use Transitions 

To make the content flow logically, use transitions between paragraphs. Transition words are an excellent method to highlight areas where your sources complement one another. 

Longer quotes of three lines or more should be presented as block quotes to draw emphasis to them.

4. Wrap Up Your Essay 

Here you have completed the writing process, but still, you need to make sure that your essay is flawless. 

5. Revise Your Essay

This is the time to enhance transitions between points and paragraphs and to reinforce arguments. You should strive to make your argument as concise and clear to understand as possible. It is beneficial to read your essay aloud so you can spot problematic phrases or unclear ideas.

Request someone else to proofread your paper. Have you heard the cliché "two heads are better than one"? Is it still valid?

Ask a friend or coworker what they would add or eliminate from the paper. Most importantly, does your thesis statement make sense, and are your references clearly supporting it?

Answer these questions in your essay.

6. Proofread Your Content

Examine your document for any grammatical, punctuation, or spelling mistakes. 

Are all the terms, names, and words accurately spelled? Are there any extraneous English language or sentence fragments? As you go, correct them.

Read the essay loudly to ensure that you don't accidentally add or remove words when reading in your mind. If possible, ask a friend or classmate to edit your writing.

7. Must Cite Sources

Use footnotes to mention information in the body paragraph and bibliography of cited books at the conclusion. Footnotes and in-text citations should be used for any information that is quoted, paraphrased, or cited.

8. Title Your Essay 

The point of view expressed in your thesis statement and supporting arguments should be reflected in your title. Therefore, choose a title that suits your essay rather than constructing your essay to fit the title.

Synthesis Essay Format

The format of your synthesis paper is chosen by your high school, college, or university professor. MLA, APA, and Chicago styles are the most often used styles.

The APA format is followed in the disciplines of science, education, and psychology. Chicago is commonly followed in the field of history, fine arts, and business. And MLA is the style of citation used in the humanities.

APA Style Format

The following are some APA style important details:

  • Add a page header to the top of each page.
  • Times New Roman, 1” margins, 12 pt. Font, double-spaced.
  • The format of a synthesis essay should be separated into four sections: title page, abstract, main body, and references.
  • Insert a page number in the upper right corner.

Chicago Style Format

The following are some Chicago style key points:

  • Use double-spacing between the paper's lines.
  • Make margins of one inch.
  • Font size: 12 pt. Times New Roman font style.
  • Create text that is left-justified with a rugged edge.
  • Mention the full name of a person, place, or organization.
  • At the start of the paragraph, use half-inch indents.
  • The bibliography should be on its own page.

MLA Style Format

The following are some MLA style significant points:

  • The title must be centered.
  • Font: Times New Roman, 1” margins, 12 pt font size, double-spaced
  • Mention your name, professor's name, the course number, and the date (dd/mm/yy).
  • On each page, the top right corner displays the last name and page number.
  • The final page provides a “Works Cited” list.

Synthesis Essay Rubric

A rubric is essentially a list of criteria that your professor will use to grade your paper. 

Knowing how each criterion is weighted can help make sure you get the best grade possible on your synthesis essay. 

The Basics of the Synthesis Essay Rubric

The basic elements of any synthesis essay rubric include organization, focus/development, and language use/style. 

  • Organization refers to how well you structure your paper. It should flow logically and have clear transitions between sections. 
  • Focus/development looks at how well you develop your argument throughout the paper. Are you able to clearly explain why each point supports your thesis?
  • Language use/style focuses on grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Was the paper proofread thoroughly or did careless errors slip in?

For example , your synthesis essay thesis statement is

“Capital punishment should be abolished in all states." 

Do you provide evidence from different angles, such as legal history, religious beliefs, or moral arguments to back up this claim? 

Does this evidence prove why capital punishment should be abolished?

How to Write a Synthesis Essay - Ap Lang

Are you an AP Lang student who’s been assigned the dreaded synthesis essay? Here’s how to write a successful synthesis essay for AP Lang. 

  • Understand the Prompt 

The first step in writing any synthesis essay is to read and understand the prompt. It’s also important to note any specific requirements such as word count, formatting style, or sources that must be used in your essay. 

  • Organize Your Argument 

Once you have all the information necessary, it’s time to start organizing your argument.

Start by identifying any common themes or ideas between the various sources of evidence and create an outline with these points at its core. 

  • Write Your Essay 

Now comes the fun part—writing! 

You should now have a comprehensive outline of all the points and evidence you want to include in your essay. So use this as a guide when crafting your argument. 

Make sure that each point has supporting evidence from credible sources and that everything flows logically from one point to another. 

Finally, don’t forget to proofread and edit before submitting so that there are no errors in grammar or spelling. These small details can make all the difference! 

Synthesis Essay Tips

Working on a synthesis paper requires a thorough study of a particular given prompt. To evaluate it properly, you must first understand the prompt’s goal, argument, author’s claim, and rhetoric.

To compose a successful synthesis essay, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

  • Use Multiple Reasons

It is well recognized that the use of various reasons (generally two) is a very successful approach.

Present one argument against your strong thesis statement. This type of evidence presents an introduction and description. The advantage of this method is to teach awareness of the other side of the argument. It is followed by the opposing view and a decisive factor.

This is one of the most basic ways of organizing. It enables you to summarise the sources that are most relevant to you. The problem is that this technique excludes any of your individual thinking.

  • Compare and Contrast

Comparing reveals similarities, while contrasting reveals distinctions. It is feasible to show an in-depth analysis of your chosen topic. It allows writers to compare and contrast two sources at the same time.

Write quotations from sources in your own words. This approach also allows the usage of quotable sources. Ensure to cite the reference when you use the reference.

This method depicts the opposing point of view. It demonstrates that the positives outweigh the negatives.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you end a synthesis essay.

A strong ending fulfills these 3 things: 

  • Restate your thesis. 
  • Summarize or synthesize key points. 
  • Make your argument's context explicit. 

What is a synthesis paragraph?

A synthesis is a textual debate that includes support from multiple sources with opposing viewpoints. This type of work requires analysis by using different sources and determining their relevance to your thesis.

Why is synthesis important?

It is important because it allows us to: 

  • Test and validate hypotheses. 
  • Comprehend key processes. 
  • Plan future research efforts. 

How to conclude a synthesis essay?

Synthesize rather than summarize your argument. No need to go over your entire paper again. Instead, include a brief summary of the main points of the paper and explain to your reader how you've made points.

What is an example of a synthesis?

Making connections or putting things together is all that is required. We naturally synthesize information to assist others in seeing connections between things. For example, synthesis occurs when you report to a friend what other friends have said about a film or book.

How many paragraphs is a synthesis essay?

According to the standard outline provided, you should stick to the basic five-to-six paragraph structure. In rare cases, there may be more paragraphs in the main body.

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How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

A synthesis essay requires you to work with multiple sources. You combine the information gathered from them to present a well-rounded argument on a topic. Are you looking for the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing? You’ve come to the right place!

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

In this guide by our custom writing team, you will find:

  • a step-by-step writing guide;
  • a list of 34 synthesis essay topics;
  • a full essay sample in MLA format.
  • 📚 Synthesis Essay Definition
  • 📝 Essay Types
  • ✅ Step-by-Step Guide
  • ✍️ Topics & Prompts
  • 📑 Example & Formatting Tips

📚 What Is a Synthesis Essay?

A synthesis essay is an assignment that requires a unique interpretation of a particular topic using several reliable sources. To write it, you need to understand, analyze, and synthesize information. That is why this type of essay is used in the AP Lang exam to assess students’ reasoning skills.

The key features of the synthesis essay are:

  • Debatable topic . If your goal is to write a good synthesis essay, it’s necessary to choose an arguable topic. It’s best to choose something that people have different opinions about. This will allow you to use many sources with various viewpoints for your synthesis.
  • Clear thesis statement. It’s a sentence that briefly describes the main idea of your essay.
  • Reliable sources to prove your thesis . For a synthesis essay, your opinion is not enough. You also need to find the evidence. Keep in mind that simply reading an online encyclopedia won’t do; make sure to choose only reliable sources.

What Does It Mean to Synthesize Information?

Synthesis is a process that has huge importance in nature, science, and our everyday life. The word stems from Ancient Greek “synthesis,” which means “putting together.” In general, synthesis is the combination of components to form a connected whole.

The picture shows examples of synthesis usage in various spheres: biochemistry, physics, and sound creation.

In everyday life, we usually resort to it to synthesize information . This means taking the data from different sources and bringing it together. This process is the opposite of analyzing:

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  • For an analysis , you break problems into pieces,
  • For a synthesis , you combine separate elements into a whole.

We use synthesis for analysis papers, research papers, argument papers, and business reports.

What Does Synthesis Mean in Writing?

Synthesis in writing means summarizing and connecting different sources considering a particular topic. Although synthesis and analysis are two opposite things, they usually go together in synthesis essays. The process consists of 2 stages:

  • Conduct the analysis. For that, you break down a problem into parts and analyze the sources. It’s helpful to highlight everything regarding your topic while reading.
  • Carry out the synthesis. The next step is to formulate an opinion and combine the highlighted information from the sources.

Synthesis is not only used in writing but also in reading comprehension . It’s useful to do this kind of reading while studying your sources. There are three reading comprehension stages:

  • Your previous knowledge about the topic.
  • Expansion of your knowledge while you are reading.
  • Understanding of the problem when you have finished reading.

So, synthesized reading comprehension means combining three stages in one and formulating one statement.

Synthesis vs Summary: What Is the Difference?

A summary is a paraphrasing of the written source in your own words. For a good summary, it’s necessary to include all of the text’s key elements. Meanwhile, synthesis means combining different ideas from different sources. You don’t have to include all the key points; just choose everything related to your topic.

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The picture explains the difference between a synthesis and a summary.

Both of these techniques are used for the synthesis essay:

  • The summary goes in the conclusion. You briefly sum up your paper’s main ideas.
  • Synthesis goes in the body paragraphs. Here, you combine multiple sources to prove a point.

📝 Synthesis Essay Types

There are two main types of a synthesis essay: argument and explanatory synthesis.

Both of them require working with multiple reliable sources and analyzing information. The only difference is that an argument synthesis essay requires your own opinion, while an explanatory synthesis essay does not.

Argument Synthesis Essay: Outline and Definition

As you already know, an argument synthesis essay requires you to state your own opinion about the given topic and back it up with several reliable sources. The purpose of such an essay is to persuade the reader that your point is correct.

Here’s what an argument synthesis essay consists of:

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Explanatory Synthesis Essay: Definition and How to Write

An explanatory informative synthesis essay requires you to stay neutral towards the problem you are discussing. This means you cannot express your own opinion considering the given question or a problem. Your task is just to inform the reader. That’s why this essay type is also called informative synthesis.

Check out this explanatory essay outline:

✅ How to Write a Synthesis Essay Step by Step

When it comes to the synthesis essay outline, it’s not too different from other assignments. Have a look at this template:

The picture shows a synthesis essay outline: introduction, main body, and conclusion.

How to Synthesize: Working with Sources

After you’ve decided on your topic, it’s time to figure out how to synthesize articles into one text. This is how you do it:

  • Choose reliable sources: the ones printed in journals or published on academic websites.
  • Become familiar with them and see if they fit into your essay.
  • Try to find a few sources for each point. It will increase your essay’s reliability.
  • Relate each source to your arguments and see similarities between them.
  • Don’t forget to list every source in the references.

When you are done with a comprehensive analysis of related literature, try to step back and imagine a person who has a different opinion on this topic. Think of some arguments that they can provide to prove their opinion. After you have the list of arguments, find the written evidence of why they are wrong and put them in your essay.

Analyzing and organizing sources is the first and very important step for the synthesis essay. So make sure you do understand what the text means before using it as a reference.

Synthesis Essay Outline: How to Write

For structuring your essay, it’s useful to try mapping . This technique means combining the information from different sources and rearranging it to create a new direction. To do it, you need to analyze the authors’ ideas and come up with your own conclusions.

The best way to do that is called synthesis matrix or graphic organizer. It’s a chart that you can make when you start working on your essay. Here you have a horizontal column that states the main ideas and a few vertical columns that present sources. Your task is to take sources you have chosen and write down the main ideas from them.

Here’s an example of a matrix chart:

While doing that, you will see how many sources contain the same ideas. When you analyze them, you will be able to formulate your thesis backed up with evidence. The synthesis matrix also helps to see new arguments you can cover in your synthesis paper.

How to Write an Introduction for a Synthesis Essay

Now it’s time to start writing the paper. In the introductory part of the essay, you can include:

  • A short yet catchy sentence or a quotation that would present the topic. The start of your essay should make people interested. It’s best to make the first sentence not only informative but also easy to understand.
  • The texts that are used for the essay. Provide the titles and the authors’ names (use the appropriate guidelines depending on the writing style.)
  • The background information which is needed to understand your essay. Definitions of terms or unknown words considering the topic can be included in this part. Otherwise, people may find it hard to understand what they are reading about.

How to Write a Thesis for a Synthesis Essay

A thesis statement is a point of view on a certain problem that you will defend in your essay. It should contain the key points that you want to include in your paper. Here’s how to create a perfect thesis statement:

  • Find several central ideas in the chart.
  • Choose the ones that are repeated the most often and the ones that you feel need to be in your essay.
  • Combine them, and you have a thesis statement with all the key points.
  • Make a draft of the thesis statement. Try to formulate the main idea you want to present in your essay.
  • Elaborate on this idea. Add some details and expand it a bit further.

If the whole picture is coherent, and it conveys exactly what you wanted, then this is your perfect thesis statement. See the example below:

Gender inequality still exists at the workplace: women are less likely to get the most responsible positions, easily lose careers due to maternity leave, and often receive less pay for the same amount of work.

How to Write Synthesis Paragraphs for the Main Body

Your essay’s main body consists of a few paragraphs. Each of them presents a different argument considering the topic. When you start a paragraph, make sure to begin with a topic sentence, which informs the reader about the paragraph’s main idea. Then, include the synthesized sources and elaborate on them.

Here’s what you should and shouldn’t do when writing the main body:

You can use the following words to present the ideas from your sources. They will help you reflect the authors’ tone:

How to Conclude a Synthesis Essay

There are quite a few ways to conclude the synthesis paper. Have a look at some of the options:

  • Paraphrase the thesis. As you remember, the thesis is the main idea of your essay. The conclusion is a good place to remind your readers about it. When they are done with the reading, they remember the most important thing from your essay.
  • Synthesize the arguments. There is no need to repeat everything you wrote in your essay. Just briefly summarize the most crucial points.
  • Answer the “So what” question. Tell the readers why this topic matters, why you’ve chosen it, and why it’s valuable for the reader.
  • Provide a closure. It’s an effective strategy when you want to make the reader think. Leave them with a strong statement at the end of your essay.

Synthesis Paper Proofreading Tips

When you have finally written your paper, there is still one important thing left to do. You need to check your paper for any grammatical and contextual mistakes. You certainly can do it yourself, but it would be perfect if you could ask somebody else to read it.

The first thing you need to check grammar-wise is the tense you are using. There is no single tense you need to use for the synthesis essay. It depends on the format:

  • If you’re writing in MLA format, use the present tense;
  • For APA essays, you use the past tense.

The next step is to check whether your synthesis essay has everything that’s required. For that, we have prepared the checklist of questions you can ask yourself to proofread your essays.

  • Is there a clear thesis statement?
  • Did you include all of the key points from the synthesis?
  • Are there clear transitions between paragraphs?
  • Did you organize a paragraph around a single idea?
  • Did you use reliable and up-to-date sources?
  • Did you analyze sources rather than just summarize them?
  • Did you mention every source you’ve used?

If you’ve answered “yes” to all the questions—congratulations, you are done with the essay! Otherwise, you need to come back and fix everything that you’ve answered “no” to.

✍️ Synthesis Essay Topics and Prompts

Sometimes, when you don’t have a topic , it is tough to come up with a suitable idea. That is why we have prepared two lists of topics that you can use for any synthesis essay type.

Explanatory Synthesis Essay Topics

The topics below are suitable for an explanatory synthesis essay:

  • The beginning of Hollywood cinema . Cinema is a huge industry in the USA. Tell the readers about its history. Describe what it was like in the beginning, which movie was the first one, and who started this industry.
  • Tactics on dealing with noisy children. Sometimes kids can be very loud, especially in public places. Write about different tactics that can help with this issue.
  • The effects of climate change on the water cycle.  Climate change has affected the water cycle significantly. Your task is to explain how.
  • The best American cities to live in. Provide the list of the best cities and explain why you’ve included them.
  • The importance of a healthy diet . Keeping a healthy diet is beneficial in many ways. Write about all the advantages it brings.
  • Who can become an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. In this essay, you can describe the qualities needed for having your own business.
  • The correlation between overpopulation and poverty . Describe how overpopulation leads to poverty and vice versa.
  • The advantages of taking an active vacation.
  • Cultural shock as a part of moving to a different country.
  • The consequences of the first wave of feminism.
  • Synthesis of Tan and Rodriguez’ essays ideas.
  • Difficulties you may encounter during the job interview.
  • How does reading prevent Alzheimer’s disease?
  • The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses.
  • The connection between religion and politics in ruling the country.
  • What can non-verbal signals tell you about a person ?
  • The psychology of leadership .
  • The origins of the most common  stereotypes  about Americans.
  • Role of social media in business communication .
  • The synthesis of personal nursing philosophy concept.
  • Behavioral components of schizophrenia and psychosis.
  • Main components of successful entrepreneurship.
  • Critical components of scientific research.
  • Change in religion and human beliefs throughout history.
  • The effect of global warming on modern life.

Argument Synthesis Paper Topics

The list of topics for the Argument Synthesis Essay:

  • Vaping is better than smoking. People are starting to exchange cigarettes for vapes and e-cigarettes. In what ways are they less harmful?
  • Rich people should pay higher taxes. The same percentage of money doesn’t equal for rich and poor people. Explain why the ones who can afford more should share with others.
  • Depression is a disease. Prove that psychological problems must be recognized as real health issues that should be cured and not ignored.
  • Social media affects young people’s lives. Social media has a massive influence on people. In this essay, you can discuss which life spheres are the most affected.
  • Beauty pageants should be banned. Provide the reasons why they should be banned and tell the reader about psychological problems they can cause.
  • People should cut meat from their diet to stop global warming. Describe how the meat industry influences climate change.
  • The voting age should be 25+. Your task is to show the reasons why the votes of people under 25 should not be taken into account during elections.
  • A healthy lifestyle requires a lot of money.
  • Each healthy man should serve in the military.
  • School bullying should be punished by immediate exclusion.
  • Does friendship exist between men and women?
  • Drinking coffee is a bad habit.
  • Working hard is more important than being talented.
  • Everybody should visit a therapist at least once.
  • Should universities be free?
  • Artificial intelligence will cause huge unemployment rates.
  • Gaming should not be allowed to children under 18.
  • Components and strategies of social responsibility
  • Integration of relevant ethical theory and conceptual principles in health care
  • Children under 10 should be banned from gadgets .
  • Social media platforms facilitate cyberbullying.
  • Issues of distance education .
  • Social media addiction is a serious disease.
  • Deforestation critically contributes to global warming.
  • Healthcare should be free for everyone.

📑 Synthesis Essay Example & Synthesis Essay Format Tips

Now let’s talk about formatting. There are two writing styles you can use for a synthesis essay: APA or MLA. You need to choose the one that is required for your assignment.

We will start with the paper in APA format. It is usually used in science and education.

And these are MLA formatting rules:

Finally, we’ve prepared a synthesis essay sample for you to check out. Feel free to download the PDF file below:

First introduced in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, affirmative action policies aim to mitigate the discrepancy in opportunities available for underrepresented social groups by taking into account one’s minority background. The policies have become a pressing public issue that obstructs previously marginalized individuals, particularly in the educational environment.

Thank you for reading the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing. We hope you found it helpful. Don’t forget to share it with your friends. Good luck with your assignments!

🔍 References

  • Writing a Synthesis Essay: Bowling Green State University
  • What Is Synthesis: University of Manitoba
  • Synthesis: Biology Online
  • Reading Strategies: Difference Summarizing and Synthesizing: WordPress
  • Summary, Analysis, Synthesis Definitions: University of Utah
  • Argumentative Synthesis: University of Arkansas
  • How to Synthesize Written Information: Simply Psychology
  • Mapping of Synthesis Essay: University of Nevada, Reno
  • Writing a Literature Review and Using a Synthesis Matrix: Florida International University
  • Synthesis Essay: Cleveland State University
  • Literature Review: Synthesizing Multiple Sources: Louisiana State University
  • Writing a Conclusion: Texas Women’s University
  • General APA Guidelines: Purdue University
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Synthesis. essay | Course Hero Help

I’m stuck on a English question and need an explanation.

First, I want you to finish the form I uploaded before Friday?1/31/2020?, it’s about this composition.

and, I need the introduction and on body paragraph before Sunday(2/2/2020)

Others due on (2/11/2020)

Read these information carefully, and follow the information to finish the paper.

About topic:

this assignment requires you to choose a topic related to Birmingham Alabama(USA) that you would like to know more about/research over the course of the semester, in order to be able to make recommendations for change. As you choose a topic, I encourage you to think beyond moral or political issues that are often discussed in black and white terms. These issues are not only too personal but will likely lead you to polarized discussions, or the ends of conversations rather than their beginning. Instead, I want to encourage you to introduce us to an issue or conversation that we might not have thought about in great depth.

Do a preliminary library search to ensure that you will be able to find sources on the topic. In the synthesis essay, you will establish the scholarly conversation on this topic; in the academic argument, you will take a stand and present an argument on an aspect of this topic; and, in the multimodal project, you will recommend solutions to the problem that you identified in the academic argument. For instance, if you choose the issue of public transportation in Birmingham, in the synthesis essay, you can focus on gathering information regarding public transportation, ease of use etc.; in the academic argument, you can consider the issue of accessibility to education caused by the lack of a sufficient developed and sustainable public transport system; and in the public argument/multimodal project, you can recommend solutions to this problem by suggesting the implementation of zyp bikes, shared rides etc.

About the paper:

Grade distribution: thesis: 10%, organization and content: 50%, introduction/conclusion: 10%, research and citation: 15% grammar: 10%

Your essay must be 4 pages long, typed, double-spaced in Times New Roman 12 pt. font with 1” margins on all sides. You will cite your sources in MLA format with a Works Cited page attached.

This assignment is designed to facilitate the following skills:

Using inquiry to guide research

Conducting adequate research to produce multiple viewpoints on one topic of inquiry

Identifying and evaluating sources

Effectively summarizing, paraphrasing, and synthesizing various viewpoints

You will begin to research the topic you have chosen to write about. This is the point at which you will gain a larger and deeper understanding of your topic, developing new research questions and search terms through your reading on your subject. You should continue reading and researching until you have acquired 4-5 clear, useful sources, each of which adds a different viewpoint to the conversation. Of these, 2-3 should be scholarly and 2 may be popular. After finding 4-5 sources that cover multiple viewpoints on the issue you’re researching, you will write an essay in which you synthesize the viewpoints. Your essay should introduce the conversation surrounding your topic, place the sources you have found into that conversation, and clearly and thoroughly summarize and paraphrase those articles in a cohesive, logical analysis. Your purpose is mainly to connect the sources in order to provide an overview of the larger topic that you have selected for the semester; the synthesis essay is mainly trying to answer “what” the issues pertaining to your topic are, rather than ask why it is a problem (academic argument) or how it may be resolved (public argument). Remember, this is the first of three assignments based on your topic; through the synthesis, you will not only learn but also explain the background information to your readers. For instance, if your topic is the marginalization of the homeless, then your synthesis essay should be an overview of who the homeless are and how they are being marginalized.

Your essay should begin with an Introduction in which you set up the general context of the issue. You will not introduce your sources in the introduction, but provide an overall background of the subject, which will help you lead into the thesis statement.

You will follow that introduction with several body paragraphs, each of which will incorporate PIE.

Point: Each body paragraph should begin with a Point, or a topic sentence, that makes a claim about how the authors of the articles approach a particular element concerning your topic.

Illustration: each Point should be followed by 2-3 direct quotes or a paraphrase from the source(s) that illustrates the claim you made about that viewpoint in the Point.

Explanation: Each Illustration should be followed by an Explanation of how the quotes or paraphrased materials act an example of or illustrate the Point. The Explanation is your own interpretation of the borrowed material and it should also help you transition from one viewpoint to another.

The essay will end with a Conclusion in which you will briefly sum up the issues that you have discussed in the body paragraphs and dwell on the larger implications of the study that you have conducted. You can focus on its significance as well as make recommendations for further studies (which you will end up conducting in the academic argument).

  • You will begin by narrowing down your topic to formulate a specific research question that your synthesis paper will attempt to answer.
  • Through the library instruction, you will learn how to gather information by identifying effective search terms/keywords, and also how to collect useful sources.
  • As you collect your 4-5 sources for this essay, keep the research question in mind so that you know how your sources relate to each other.
  • The short writing exercises in class will help you learn how to evaluate and annotate your sources, as well as avoid plagiarism and create a synthesis chart.
  • Based on the synthesis chart, you will start drafting the essay. The rough, rough draft will help you understand whether you are on the right track in terms of developing the introduction and demonstrating synthesis in at least one body paragraph.
  • Peer reviews of the full draft will help you not only get other perspectives on your writing, but also show you how others are approaching the assignment.
  • Finally, you will revise the peer-reviewed draft, cite all your sources precisely, add the works cited page and submit the essay. The process always takes longer than you planned for, so start early and get feedback often.

A successful synthesis essay will achieve the following course goals

  • Clearly summarize the research, breaking the sources into clear varying viewpoints that are in conversation with each other (synthesis).
  • Quote and paraphrase carefully and thoroughly
  • Reflect a clear understanding of the topic and the research
  • Maintain a clear structure with an introduction ending in a thesis, body paragraphs that employ PIE, and a clear conclusion

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IMAGES

  1. 12+ Synthesis Essay Examples to Inspire You

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  2. How Literature and Stereotypes Shape Identity: A Synthesis Essay

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  3. Synthesis Essay Prewriting Sheet.docx

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  4. How to Write a Synthesis Essay

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  5. How to write a Synthesis Essay

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  6. Synthesis Essay Example:18+ Examples & Samples In PDF

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COMMENTS

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  2. Mastering Synthesis Essays: Techniques, Challenges, and ...

    Gomes 1 Selena Gomes Professor Kirchner ENC 1102 4 February 2022 Journal 2 A synthesis essay is a written discussion that incorporates support from several sources of differing viewpoints. This type of essay requires that the individual to examine the variety of sources and identify how they are similar and differ from your thesis. Overall, I believe I did fairly well on the synthesis essay ...

  3. Guide to Synthesis Essays: How to Write a Synthesis Essay

    The writing process for composing a good synthesis essay requires curiosity, research, and original thought to argue a certain point or explore an idea. Synthesis essay writing involves a great deal of intellectual work, but knowing how to compose a compelling written discussion of a topic can give you an edge in many fields, from the social sciences to engineering.

  4. Explanatory Synthesis Essay Checklist Reflection.docx

    ENG 150 Explanatory Synthesis Essay Checklist Reflection Complete the response portions of the following tables. Spelling and Grammar You should self-correct your own spelling and grammar as much as possible. There are multiple ways to do this, and you are not required to use them all. Mark all of the following tools you used to fix errors in your draft.

  5. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: The Ultimate Handbook

    Crafting a strong synthesis essay requires careful planning and effective techniques. Here are five essential tips to help you write your best paper: Diverse Source Selection: Choose a range of reliable sources that offer different viewpoints on your topic. Make sure they're recent and relevant to your subject.

  6. Synthesis Essay

    Synthesis essays follow a predictable structure: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. In the introduction, the writer gives an overview of the topic and presents the thesis or proposed claim of the ...

  7. How to Write a Synthesis Essay (and pass)

    Introduction A common advanced writing assignment is the synthesis essay. Unfortunately, until getting assigned their first synthesis essay, many students are completely unaware of this type of essay, which means that, in addition to writing an essay, you may fear that you have to teach yourself a whole new type of writing. While the synthesis essay may present a new type of writing challenge ...

  8. PDF STEPS FOR WRITING A SYNTHESIS ESSAY

    A synthesis essay uses a variety of sources to form a new idea, answer a question, or defend an argumentative thesis statement. A synthesis does not summarize but shows the connections among the different sources and the writers' ideas. A successful synthesis essay overviews research on the chosen topic, highlights the connections among ...

  9. How to Write a Synthesis Paper: Key Strategies and Examples

    A synthesis paper is a written discussion that incorporates support from multiple sources to examine a variety of viewpoints related to a thesis. It is commonly used in various types of assignments such as analysis papers, research papers, argument papers, and business reports. To write an effective synthesis essay, it is crucial to establish a clear purpose, carefully select and evaluate ...

  10. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Step-by-Step Guide

    First, state your argument, make supporting statements, and back up each claim with reliable facts. 2. Review Essay. A review essay is frequently written as a preparatory essay to an argument synthesis. Review essays are commonly used in social science and medicine classes.

  11. How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

    Find several central ideas in the chart. Choose the ones that are repeated the most often and the ones that you feel need to be in your essay. Combine them, and you have a thesis statement with all the key points. Make a draft of the thesis statement. Try to formulate the main idea you want to present in your essay.

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  13. Synthesis Essay Materials

    The two synthesis essay questions below are examples of the question type that has been one of the three free-response questions on the AP English Language and Composition Exam as of the May 2007 exam. The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic. Students are given a 15-minute reading period to accommodate ...

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    Running head: SYNTHESIS. Synthesis Paper ***** Liberty University. SYNTHESIS. Synthesis Paper Due to my participation in the course Introduction to Research, I have learned many things. This course was my first encounter with research methods and designs, and my first course utilizing strict APA formatting style as well.

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  16. [solved] Synthesis. essay

    In the synthesis essay, you will establish the scholarly conversation on this topic; in the academic argument, you will take a stand and present an argument on an aspect of this topic; and, in the multimodal project, you will recommend solutions to the problem that you identified in the academic argument.

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